by Isi Esene
Lohnan Joseph, a 29-year-old Plateau State born teacher was on Sunday held at the Sultan Abubakar III Airport while trying to board a Saudi Arabia bound flight.
Joseph was reported to have joined the queue of intending pilgrims from Zamfara State who were waiting to be screened for their trip early yesterday morning. The former teacher, who is a Christian, used to teach at Global Kids Academy in Sokoto State.
Mukhtari Lugga, an official of the Zamfara State Government and one of the witnesses at the airport said, “Joseph just came from nowhere and joined their line during the screening. He was easily identified as an alien among them because he was not wearing the uniform. This was what drew our attention to him and we quickly notified the police who came and picked him up for interrogation.”
When questioned by law enforcement agents on his attempt to join the hajj trip without proper documentation, Joseph claimed he has a right to travel with the pilgrims as he is a Nigerian just like them.
He said, “I am a Nigerian, so I don’t believe in discrimination, whether you are a Christian or Muslim.”
Joseph also said that his mission was not to travel but only to visit the airport and come back.
Lugga said that 40 pieces of 10,000 France Franc, eight pieces of 5,000 France Franc, one piece of 1,000 France Franc and N610 in different denominations were found in his possession as well as his personal belongings and credentials concealed in a black bag.
Sokoto State commissioner of Police, Shu’aibu Gambo, confirmed the incident saying the suspect said he intended to travel to London.
Gambo said the suspect named other people acting as his accomplices adding that his men would go after them to establish their true mission.
Joseph’s just gotta check out, we guess. No?